How To Take Tours In Alaska On A Budget

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Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!

Summer Trips To Alaska
Grizzlies & Glaciers Tour

Winter Trips To Alaska
See The Northern Lights

Summer Trips To Alaska
Denali Discovery Adventure

Denali Adventure in Alaska Vacation
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Why Are Alaska Bound Tours So Expensive?

Alaska tours on planesAlaska is a huge state, spanning more than one million square miles. It is also a remote state, which increases the cost of all transportation – including the transportation of goods. Even the locals know that the distances between cities make getting around in Alaska challenging. The cost of living in Alaska is high, which means that the cost of your dream Alaska vacation may also be considerably more than you thought it would be! The good news, however, is that there are tips and tricks to make Alaska bound tours more affordable for everyone.

Making Your Dollar Go Further On An Alaska Tour

Let’s be honest – first-time visitors are often shocked at how expensive Alaska can be. But if you are a careful and creative planner, a trip to the frozen North doesn’t have to run up a huge bill. By trading luxury for some grittier experiences and modifying the time of year you visit, you can save a huge chunk of money when you take a tour in Alaska! If you’re interested in stretching your vacation dollars, read on for some tried and true tips that expert travelers swear by.

Budget Tip #1 - Explore The Last Frontier During The Shoulder Months

Alaskans call May and September “the shoulder months.” That means that the peak tourist season hasn’t begun and that the tourist season is winding down. But the weather is still beautiful during both of those months, and – as an added bonus – the crowds are smaller and the prices for lodging and other services are more reasonable. Traveling to Alaska in the off-season is a unique experience that allows you to see the state in a different light while saving money. However, if you are interested in booking a guided tour, many Alaska bound tours offer reduced rates during the shoulder season.

Budget Tip #2 – DIY Your Trip

Many tourists book a cruise or guided excursion with a tour group because it is easier. Guided tours include everything from lodging to food to transportation, and the tour company handles all the logistics of your trip. However, the trade-off is that this option is quite expensive. If you want to save money and you have a knack for planning, DIY your trip! Do your own driving, plan your own itinerary, take advantage of state camping grounds, and prepare your own meals. Doing these things will save a tidy sum of money, but it will also allow you to customize your trip for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Budget Tip #3 – Get Outdoors!

The good news is that much of what you probably want to see and do in Alaska is free. Entrance to most national parks is free (Denali does charge $10 per visitor), and the state parks are free, too. Many national and state parks feature an abundance of public-use cabins. These cabins cost much less than hotels or even budget motels but will allow you to enjoy the outdoors 24/7. You can enjoy many free activities at the parks - activities like hiking, fishing, kayaking, snowshoeing, and wildlife viewing in the Alaskan backcountry are free of charge!

 Budget Tip #4 – Stay Local To Avoid Expensive Transportation Costs

In order to create Alaska affordable tours, it’s a good idea to stay local. For example, Anchorage (located on the easily navigable Kenai Peninsula) offers a great base camp for visitors. It is also easy to fly into Anchorage! If you stay in Anchorage, you’ll be in range of glaciers, mountains, and fjords – and able to return to a hotel at the end of the day. Alternatively, you can explore the Anchorage-Fairbanks corridor and take the George Parks Highway to Talkeetna or Denali State Park. Choose a central location that gives you the opportunity to explore the surrounding countryside, but does not require expensive flights to remote locations.

Budget Tip #5 – Skip The Helicopter Ride!

As tempting as it might be to get an overview of Alaska’s wildlife from the sky, it isn’t a budget-friendly option. Seeing wildlife in Alaska doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg – wildlife is everywhere! Just taking a round-trip bus ride along Denali’s 92-mile Park Road guarantees you the opportunity to see the big five of Alaska’s foraging fauna. And it will cost just a little over $50! On the other hand, a fly-in day trip from Anchorage to Katmai National Park will run upwards of $800!

Budget Tip #6 – Cruise The Alaska Marine Highway

Alaska has an extensive state-run ferry system that cuts through the same amazing waterways that the cruise ships travel – but at a more reasonable price. Fare for the 19-hour trip between Ketchikan and Juneau will run around $140. If you opt for the six-hour trip across Prince William Sound, you’ll pay approximately $65. That’s much more reasonable than Alaska bound tours, and you’ll see the same scenery.

However, if you really want to book a luxury cruise, consider booking one during May or September. You can save almost 25 percent during the off-season, making it one of Alaska’s most affordable tours.

Anchorage Alaska

Alaska On A Dime

You may not be able to take tours in Alaska on a dime, but you certainly can use the tips mentioned above to make your dollar go further. Alaska affordable tours are possible, but you have to carefully plan your itinerary and be willing to take charge of all the little details to make everything run smoothly. But if you’re willing to put in the effort, you are sure to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will never forget!

Making the Most of Your Alaskan Trip Without Spending a Fortune

Making the most of your Alaskan trip without spending a fortune is entirely possible with a bit of planning and savvy choices. Start by opting for shoulder seasons like late spring or early fall, when prices for flights and accommodations are generally lower, yet the natural beauty and wildlife remain spectacular. Consider staying in budget-friendly lodging such as hostels, campgrounds, or locally-owned bed-and-breakfasts, which not only save money but also offer a more authentic Alaskan experience. Take advantage of the many free or low-cost activities available, such as hiking in the stunning national parks, exploring charming small towns, or visiting cultural museums and local markets. Utilize public transportation or share rides to cut down on travel expenses while meeting fellow adventurers. By focusing on these cost-effective strategies, you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery, rich wildlife, and unique experiences that Alaska has to offer without breaking the bank.

Download all three Alaska tour brochures for tour dates and pricing.